As part of Centre College’s three-week intensive CentreTerm course “Health in Danville,” taught by Sarah Berry, first-year students in the class presented their community-based research proposals to the Danville–Boyle County community at the Boyle County Public Library, Jan. 23.
Berry explained that the purpose of the course was to connect students with Danville and work with a community-based participatory research model, “where community members provide information on health needs, to connect health and place and region—how health is impacted by social and regional factors.”
The class produced four proposed projects working with Centre students, Grace Church, Haven Care Center and the Presbyterian Church of Danville. Within these groups, the students collected literacy information and health needs identifications through open-ended questions and surveys.
Within the four groups, students presented proposals on health needs and services determined by their specific community group.
The results of the study were improving nutrition labeling in Cowan, developing a nutrition database for Danville–Boyle County, providing free transportation for HavenCare and implementing a mobile device app called DanMed.
Community members were encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions to the student proposals, and Berry hopes that students get input to use in their final, formal proposals.
“It was really rewarding to do a community-based learning course,” Berry said. “I’m invested in experiential education and especially invested in the social and ethical education of future healthcare providers at the undergrad stage.
“They have amazed me with their professionalism with community groups and their creative problem-solving for health needs, and I hope that they enjoyed some hands-on health education that is person- and place-based—something that will hopefully carry through their education,” she concluded.
by Kerry Steinhofer
January 24, 2018